First established in 1987, with the latest version completed in 2015, ISO 9001 is the hugely popular, widely respected framework for Quality Management. It provides guidance for organisations to design and implement a management system, ensuring consistency in the quality of goods and/or services.
ISO 9001:2015 is less demanding than previous versions, focusing on outcomes and value for your business.
ISO 9001 outlines the requirements of a Quality Management System (QMS). Available to any organisation in any sector, the Standard is commonly viewed as the most comprehensive, intuitive and useful of its type.
Achieving consistently high levels of service or quality of goods is the basis of all successful business activity. ISO 9001 sets the standard for what this should look like. Rather than reviewing policies and procedures in isolation, the QMS framework considers how all your processes come together into a single, robust Management System. This System should be based on your context and designed to meet the needs of your customers.
ISO 9001 integrates a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle which focuses leaders on continuous improvement surrounding the organisations’ processes, while maintaining operational excellence. The principles on which the framework is based demand systematic control of these processes while giving you the tools that will help you achieve your strategic objectives.
Any organisation that wishes to evaluate and improve the quality of its service should consider moving forward with an audit against ISO 9001.
The Standard has been traditionally popular with large, complex organisations but the 2015 version makes ISO 9001 equally accessible to smaller businesses, enabling them to stand out. Used as a business improvement tool, the framework is important to all those that take quality seriously.
Quality/Operations Managers or anyone looking to streamline their processes, increase efficiency and win more business should consider moving forward with certification to one of the world’s most popular quality management Standards: ISO 9001.
Following the Annex SL format, ISO 9001 can be integrated with other management systems, such as ISO 14001 (environmental management) and ISO 45001 (occupational health & safety management). Centre for Assessment can provide audits against several frameworks as a single project. Please get in touch to find out more.
ISO 9001 is based on seven quality management principles: Customer Focus, Leadership, Engagement of People, Process Approach, Continual Improvement, Evidence-based Decision Making and Relationship Management. Each principle has a relative importance to individual organisations’ sizes and contexts.
The audit process and subsequent certification to ISO 9001 has many potential benefits. Some of the advantages that may apply to your organisation include being better able to:
Centre for Assessment is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to provide certification to ISO 9001, giving you the assurance of a value-adding, rigorous and useful audit against the framework.
With our experienced, expert team of auditors located across the UK and beyond, Centre for Assessment can meet your needs, supporting your journey towards achieving this quality Standard. Although regulations do not allow us to offer our own advisory service, we do have a list of trusted, independent management consultants who can support your preparations for ISO 9001 audit and certification. Additionally, we do provide a pre-assessment service.
• Initial thoughts: Firstly, you need to establish that ISO 9001 is the right fit for your organisation and, if so, what the scope of certification will be. Centre for Assessment will be happy to help you make these decisions.
• Preparation: You may choose to hire a consultant to help you design and implement your Quality Management System. Centre for Assessment does not offer a consultancy service but can provide you with a list of our independent associates. You could opt to use Centre for Assessment to provide a pre-assessment service. Alternatively, you may choose to move forward without seeking external support.
• Apply: Submit an application form via our online form.
• Quotation: Your application will be reviewed by a member of our Business Development team, who may need to call you to request further information before providing you with a no-obligation audit proposal.
• Accept: Review the proposal sent by Centre for Assessment and, if you are happy, sign and return the document to us.
• Make arrangements: You will be allocated a specialist, experienced auditor who will contact you to introduce themselves, discuss arrangements and book dates for the audit.
• Audit Stage One: The Stage One audit will involve a review of the documents relating to your Quality Management System. Stage One also explores your readiness to move on to Stage Two.
• Audit Stage Two: The Stage Two audit looks at the effectiveness of your Management System, ensuring it is successfully implemented and fully operational.
• Verification: Once the two stages are complete and any findings addressed, your auditor will recommend that Centre for Assessment awards ISO 9001 certification.
• Certification: Following a technical review by a decision-maker, you will be issued a certificate that is valid for three years. You can advertise the fact that you are certified to the Standard and use the ISO 9001 logo on your website etc..
• Annual Audit: At 12 and 24 months, review audits will be completed to ensure you are still compliant with ISO 9001. These will be arranged directly with your auditor.